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The Celebration of Love

The Celebration of Love

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Published by glennpease
God celebrates love in his Word, and we should also do so.
God celebrates love in his Word, and we should also do so.

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Published by: glennpease on Mar 17, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE CELEBRATION OF LOVE Based on GenTHE CELEBRATION OF LOVE Based on Gen. 29:1-30By Pastor Glenn PeaseSir Wilfred Grenfell, the famous medical missionary to Labrador, was a fast worker when itcame to falling in love. He was on board a ship returning to England when he spotted a charminglady on deck. He was 43 years old, and so it was not as though he had never spotted a charminglady before. But this woman had such an appeal to him that he proposed to her shortly after hemet her. She naturally resisted saying, "But you don't even know my name." He responded, "Itdoesn't matter, I know what its going to be." Here was a case of love at first sight, and history isfull of such romantic stories where people find their mate in a moment and live happily ever after.Others who are equally open to God's leading have a tough time finding their life partner.Billy Graham is a prime example of this side of the coin. Graham was going steady with EmilyCavanaugh in college. He felt she was beautiful, talented, and spiritual, and he told his parents heplanned to ask her to be his wife. She admired Billy a great deal, but she came to a point whereshe told him she had reconsidered his proposal, and she could not accept it. He was devastatedand felt the world had ended.Later Graham developed a relationship with Ruth Bell. Their love grew, but it also hit a snag.She was a missionary kid and felt God wanted her to be missionary, but Billy felt called to be anevangelist. They became engaged in 1941, but at Wheaton College Ruth told Billy she was unsureafter all. There were tears and struggles before Ruth could make a commitment to be his wife.She realized he needed the balance she could give him. He was too serious, and she could add thelighter touch to his personality. They have had a long and happy marriage, but the point is, therewas struggle and a lot of adjustment.Love stories can be romantic love at first sight, or tangled webs of struggle type stories. In oneof the great love stories of the Bible we have a case which is both. The story of Jacob and Rachelis a classic case of love at first sight. She came with her flock of sheep to the well, and Jacobbecame an instant servant by rolling away the stone from the well to impress her. A short timeafter he was negotiating for her hand in marriage. But the story takes on the characteristics of complexity and struggle as Laban throws his oldest daughter Leah into Jacob's bed, and thusbegan a lifetime of conflict and competition in Jacob's love life.Out of this both simple and complex love story God brought forth His people-the 12 tribes of Israel, and the blood line to the Messiah, and the greatest love story of all-Christ and His bride thechurch. Romantic love is to be celebrated because the whole redemption plan of God's loverevolves around the romance of human love. You cannot tell the story of God's love without thestory of the love of husband and wife. Romance is at the very heart of God's plan of salvation, andit becomes an effort in futility to try and separate love into the sacred and the secular.Romantic love is a vital part of the sacred plan of God to save a lost world. It is valid, therefore,to celebrate the gift of romance. God does so Himself by making romantic love such a major partof His revelation. It is exalted to the highest level in the Song of Songs where we read of romanticlove in 8:6-7, "It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love;Page 1
THE CELEBRATION OF LOVE Based on Genrivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love it would beutterly scorned."Jacob's love for Rachel illustrates this. He wanted her as his mate so strongly that he wouldwork for 7 years to possess her as his own, and v. 20 says the 7 years were like only a few daysbecause of his love for her. It was a small price to pay for such a treasure. Love was hismotivation; love was his energy, and love was the fire that could not be quenched even though onewet blanket after another was thrown on its flame. There is no escape from the emotional side of love. It is a passion, or an intense feeling. The story of Christ's suffering for his bride is called apassion play. His intense feelings were a passion. Passion can be torment, and love sick people cango through torment in what they are willing to pay in terms of suffering to possess the object of their love.I remember the risks I used to take to see Lavonne when she lived 20 miles away from me. Iwas a teen driving 50 dollar cars, and more than once I was broke down on the highway betweenher home and mine. If I had a date with her nothing else mattered but the keeping of that date. Iliterally risked my life to keep a date with her. Blizzard warnings were irrelevant, and I wouldtake off in a car most people would not keep for parts, and head into the storm to get to her. Inour courtship I put 18,000 miles on an assortment of junk bound cars as I traveled that 20 milestretch over and over. I had to get out sometimes and put snow in the radiator to keep the carfrom burning up. I had to get help from both her father and mine to get out of the ditch. I had tosuffer the torment of near worthless vehicles over and over, and all of the pain of it was nothingfor the joy of being with Lavonne. I know the power of the passion to possess.Romantic and Redemptive love have this in common-they are passions to possess. God'spassion to possess fallen man, and Christ's passion to possess His lost sheep were so great that theytook on infinite suffering in order to make it happen. The greatest power in the universe is thepower of love. It moves and motivates persons toward more goals than any other power. It is theprime mover of God, for God is love, and because He is love He created all that is, and he provideda plan whereby fallen man can be redeemed and restored to fellowship with Himself. Love is whythere is anything to celebrate at all. Love is why there is a heaven to hope for, and why there canbe joy in a fallen world.The most powerful motive for the overcoming of any problem is love. Aleida Huissen hadsmoked for 50 years and tried often to quit but just could not do it. Then 79 year old Leo Jansencame into her life and proposed. He refused to set the wedding day, however, until she quit hersmoking. Will power had failed her for years, but love was stronger and she was able to quit forthe sake of love. Love was the passion that gave her the power to do what she could not do withoutlove. A. Z. Conrad said of love, "It furnishes to the world its progress passion. It is storm-defying,energy-conquering, venture-challenging, soul-awakening. It eats up the fires sent to consume it. Itswallows the floods sent to drown it."If we love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, it will not be hard to give upanything that interferes with that love. If we cannot do it we lack the love that give us the power of passion. If we cannot give up things that hinder our relationship with our mate, it is a sign that wePage 2
THE CELEBRATION OF LOVE Based on Genhave let the passion of love drain away. When we lose the passion of love we lose the power thatmakes all relationships the priority they need to be.Jacob loved Rachel, and when a monkey wrench was thrown into their lives, and he had towork another 7 years to possess her, he did it for his love for her kept her in the place of priority.This love story is like many of the classic romance stories of literature. It is often like a tragedy.Rachel had to fight the battle of the other woman, which was her own sister. She had to watch asLeah gained status by giving Jacob children she could not give him. She eventually bore him hisbeloved Joseph, but she never won the competition to give him the most children. She also diedbefore Leah and Leah got to be buried with Jacob in the end. There were a lot of tears in this lovestory, but it is still a beautiful and powerful story of passion and priority that should motivate uswho have less complex lives to celebrate the joys of love.The passion of Jacob for Rachel was persistent through all of the changes of life. Rachel did notstay the cute little shepherdess she was the day they met, and the day he fell in love with her. Inchapter 30 she became a jealous wife and a nag. She wanted children so badly that she becameobsessed, and Jacob had to get angry with her. Later she stole her father's idols, and she riskedgetting Jacob into serious trouble. It was not a trouble free marriage at all. Both had blemishes ontheir character, but they never ceased to put each other in a place of priority. "Love is not lovethat alters when it alteration finds."As monogamists we think we only marry one mate, but the fact is we all marry a number of people because our mates keep changing, and we have to adjust to these changes and learn to lovea different person than the one we married. Through the years all mates change, and sometimes itcan be hard to adjust, for your mate may not be the person now that you expected them to be forlife. You have to fall in love again with a new person. Those who cannot adjust to changes in theirmate often get divorced. All couples go through what is called divorce periods where they are inthe process of deciding if they love the new and different people they have become. This is wherelove is again the power that keeps them together. If love is allowed to fade, and there is no effort torekindle the flame of passion, there is a danger that they will part. Those who make it throughthese periods do so because they work at rekindling the flame. Those who neglect love and justdrift tend to drift apart completely. Divorce is a refusal to remarry the new person your mate hasbecome. Long-range marriage is a commitment to keep on marrying the mate you have no matterhow often they change.Here is the other side of love that goes beyond the feelings and emotions of passion to the act of the will. Love on this level is a matter of choice. In Gen. 30:2 Jacob is angry at Rachel. He is nolonger filled with passion to roll away stones for her, or to labor for 7 years for her. He now hasnegative emotions, and he wonders how she can be so ridiculous as to hold him responsible for herbarrenness. If love was only passion and positive emotions, Rachel could have been divorced atthis point, but Jacob's love was a commitment to her to love her even when she was totallyunreasonable. One sided definitions of love that stress it to be a feeling fall far short of the realthing. Some have defined love this way:1. "A tickling sensation around the heart that can't be scratched."Page 3

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